IRL: Kentucky: Rahal Letterman Racing preview

RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING LOOKING TO SHINE IN SATURDAY NIGHT'S TRIP TO KENTUCKY HILLIARD, Ohio - After last week's manic mission to Michigan, the Rahal Letterman Racing team will head to Kentucky Speedway looking for a less-stressful event after a...

RAHAL LETTERMAN RACING LOOKING TO SHINE IN SATURDAY NIGHT'S TRIP TO KENTUCKY

HILLIARD, Ohio - After last week's manic mission to Michigan, the Rahal Letterman Racing team will head to Kentucky Speedway looking for a less-stressful event after a race in which the two IndyCar teams changed a driver helmet, a nose cone, made a tricky ride-height adjustment, downloaded and reinstalled data in the car and - just for good measure - made a three-tire change during a stop.

However, the duo of Scott Sharp (#8 Patron Dallara/Honda/Firestone) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (#17 Ethanol Dallara/Honda/Firestone) will likely not trade Michigan stress for Kentucky calm unless it comes with similar results. The RLR squad heads to this weekend's Kentucky Indy 300 coming off a pair of top-six finishes including a third-place result for Sharp that earned him his second podium of the season, and more importantly, moved him to within 17 points of sixth place in the season standings.

Sharp has even more reason to be optimistic this weekend as he has had his share of success on the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway oval. The track is the site of his most recent IndyCar win (2005), and he has led laps in three of his previous six visits, including 105 in the 2001 event.

I am looking forward to heading into Kentucky Speedway this weekend with the Patron RLR Team!" spoke Sharp. "Kentucky has always been a great track for me and become one of my favorites. I won there two years ago and finished second prior to that. I'm hopeful we can take everything we have been learning about our Patron Dallara this season and put it together to challenge for a win!"

For Hunter-Reay, he looks to continue the strong start to his blossoming IndyCar career and could possibly leave Kentucky with the lead in the fight for the Bombardier Learjet Rookie-of-the-Year Award. Despite joining Rahal Letterman Racing just two races ago, Hunter-Reay has finished seventh and sixth respectively in his first two starts and has already halved Milka Duno's lead in the rookie points. Despite making just two starts to Duno's six, Hunter-Reay is just 27 points behind the Venezuelan - who will not be competing in this weekend's event.

"I'm actually really enjoying how compact the IndyCar Series schedule is, I'd be pretty bummed if we had a few weeks off right now," said Hunter-Reay. "I've spent time with the team in Columbus over the past week and we have gone over lots of data from Michigan and we are looking to make that next step forward. I feel I am back into the rhythm of oval racing and expect another solid top ten this weekend for Team Ethanol. At this point we need to be smart and steadily move forward through the Kentucky race weekend, just as we have over the past two events. I'm loving this, we have lots of work to do, but I genuinely believe in everything that goes on here at Rahal Letterman Racing and I feel that we can continue moving to the front."

-credit: rlr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Milka Duno , Scott Sharp , Ryan Hunter-Reay